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Parkway Drive

Parkway Drive

Genre: Metalcore
Label: Epitaph Records
Released: 09/25/15

                                             Parkway Drive



By: Scott Turney

Parkway Drive is an Australian metalcore band formed in 2003 currently signed with Epitaph Records. ‘Ire’ is Parkway Drive’s fifth album to date. For the past ten years Parkway Drive has stayed the course with their sound from their first album ‘Killing With A Smile’ through their last album ‘Atlas’. This time around Parkway Drive wanted to do something different. As vocalist Winston McCall stated “When you’re playing the same style of riff, the same drumming, the same vocals and same breakdowns for ten years, what point is there in people listening to your new record or even recording one if it sounds the exact same as the last one? (Musicfeeds.com)” Parkway Drive wants to be more ambitious and creative with their music while still keeping the heaviness we all love and enjoy, and on ‘Ire’ they do just that and more.

‘Ire’ kicks off with ‘Destroyer’ a song that begins with a pounding beat as a “Destroy” chant becomes louder and louder before all hell breaks loose. The new direction of the band is very evident once the chanting ends. The guitar tone is different, but still heavy and Winston McCall’s vocals are improved. It is refreshing to hear something new of this caliber from Parkway Drive. ‘Dying To Believe’ is the next song and it explodes out of the gates. This is definitely a song that will get people moving in circle pits. The track is fast, ferocious and full of rage, just as if Parkway Drive let the beast out of its cage.

The next two songs are ‘Vice Grip’ and ‘Crushed’ were also the first two songs released for the record and each shows growth within Parkway Drive. ‘Vice Grip’ mixes the group’s heaviness with soaring choruses that make the listeners want to sing along. While ‘Crushed’ starts off with an amazing intro, which consists of someone reciting to the gods. The song is one of the heaviest on ‘Ire’. The chorus is massive and brutal especially when Winston screams “Crushed by the fists of god. CRUSHED! We’ve been crushed by the fists of god!” The sixth song ‘Writings on the Wall continues the trend of going outside the box by opening up with some soft violin and piano playing with spoken-word vocals which only grow stronger as the song goes on. This song gives the album a chance to breath while Parkway Drive has more surprises in store for the listener.

On ‘The Sound of Violence’ Parkway Drive displays another change by integrating a more metalcore sound to the song. The result is another hard hitting track that shows the band adapting and evolving their sound even more. The tenth song ‘Dedicated’ opens with Winston saying “Twelve years I’ve fought for this. Twelve years, my heart still beats. For the ones who’ve stood beside me, still strong. You can’t break me!” The track is all about Parkway Drive how through twelve years of blood, sweat and tears they have survived as a band and that they are unbreakable. ‘Ire’ ends with ‘A Deathless Song’ which begins with acoustic guitars and harps. The track soon becomes a metal anthem once the rest of the band joins in. There are group vocals, melodic chants and a guitar solo included in the song. All of which help the record come to a memorable ending as the song fades out.

Parkway Drive’s fifth album ‘Ire’ is their most unique record to date and also the biggest gamble. They could have made just another carbon copy record that fans would enjoy. Instead they chose to broaden their horizons and experiment with new things like sing along choruses in ‘Vice Grip’, to the metalcore sound in ‘The Sound of Violence’. Parkway Drive still showcases their old selves in ‘Dying to Believe’ which still incorporates brutal breakdowns and Winston’s immense screams. Some fans may lose interest in the band because they have taken such a risk, but this is unlikely to affect Parkway Drive’s decisions as they will continue to change their sound because “what point is there in people listening to your new record or even recording one if it sounds the exact same as the last one?” ‘Ire’ gets five out of five stars for being musically creative and proving that if you take high risks you get high rewards.